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Monday, February 15, 2010

My students can't read

At least, that's what it feels like sometimes. First there are all the students in my writing class that can't seem to read the assignment instructions I give them so they get all confused and make life more difficult for themselves (seriously - I cannot figure out what is so hard to understand about "Go to this website (with URL) and click on the link at the bottom of the page; download the data you find there and make a graph" but two students went and got data from random other places). Then today, I gave my first exam in my principles class and I don't know if it's test anxiety or laziness or what, but over and over again, students would come up and ask me about some question and because they were asking something that was obvious in the question itself, I just literally read the question out loud to them, at which point they would say, "OH! I get it now!" and I would think to myself, "You do?!?" One of my TAs suggested that they were probably just fishing to see if I would give them additional information and when it was clear I wasn't going to, they would give up. I can believe that but I also think that a lot of them literally don't read, or at least, they don't read very carefully. This has happened in past semesters too but it seemed a lot worse today. I just don't get it.

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